Expert Profile

Shirley Franklin
Mayor
City of Atlanta

In 2001, the people of Atlanta elected Shirley Franklin, a first time candidate for public office, to serve as the 58th Mayor of the City of Atlanta. She also became the first female mayor and the first African American woman to serve as mayor of a major southern city.

Mayor Franklin is currently one of the Co-Chairs of the 2008 National Democratic Convention; she is also the former Treasurer of the Democratic Party of Georgia and former President of the Conference National Democratic Mayors. She has held leadership roles in the U.S. Conference of Mayors as the Chair of the Women’s Caucus and Co-Chair of the Tourism Task Force, and is a member of the Environmental Committee.

She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Chair of Atlanta Development Authority, Chair of the Board of Trustees of CIFAL-Atlanta, and a CARE USA ambassador. She is Secretary of the Board of the Atlanta Regional Commission and serves as Chair of its Ethics Committee. She previously served as the Founding Vice President of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRETA).

Her community appointments include the Board of Trustees for Spelman College and Paideia School in Atlanta. She also served as a member of the Board of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Neighborhood Arts Center, Atlanta Black United Fund, the Expansion Arts Advisory Committee for the National Endowment for the Arts, Georgia Arts Council, National Urban Coalition, and the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Mayor Franklin previously served as the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for Mayor Maynard Jackson and was subsequently named Chief Administrative Officer and City Manager for Mayor Andrew Young. When Maynard Jackson was elected to his third term, Franklin served as Executive Officer of Operations. She joined the Atlanta Committee for Olympic Games in early 1991 as Senior Vice President of External Relations.

Mayor Franklin earned her B.A. in Sociology from Howard University and was awarded her M.A. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Shirley Franklin's discussions:

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Walter Olson Cato Institute
Anthony Shorris New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Sammis White University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Polly Trottenberg Federal Department of Transportation
David Walker The Peter G. Peterson Foundation

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  • Risk and Legal Fear in Schools
    With Lenore Skenazy, Frederick Hess, Megan Rosker, Walter Olson, and Nancy McDermott. Start date: June 5